Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Twitter: Candidate did not respond.
Facebook: Bob Kaplan for Schaumburg 54 School Board
Family: son: Brad Kaplan Teacher St. Charles East H.S
son: Matt Kaplan Teacher Huntley H.S
daughter: Stacey Hauck Teacher 4/5 Lincoln Prairie School
Wife: Rainy Kaplan Teacher Westmont H.S.
3 grandkids: Camryn, Colin and Connor
3 sisters: Gayle, Judy retired teachers and Shari teacher
Occupation: Retired Administrator, Teacher, Coach and Bus Driver
Education: BS in Elementary Education from Illinois State University, MA in Administration and Supervision from Roosevelt University many other graduate hours from other colleges
Civic involvement: Have coached in Schaumburg Athletic Association, YMCA basketball, and Hoffman Estates Community Baseball Association. Served on various PTA's and school committees, President of the Northwest Retired Teachers Association, board member of School District 54 also a member of the IEA-Retired Teachers, Retired IHSA Basketball and Softball official, umpired 3 state finals. Former Board member of Premier Credit Union from 2004-2015
Elected offices held: Schaumburg District 54 School Board Member
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
I'm running for the Schaumburg District 54 board because public education has been my passion for my life's work. I believe public education is the great equalizer for our society. Every student deserves an opportunity to learn in a safe and supportive learning environment. District 54 has many great schools and programs that other districts don't provide from Early Childhood to eighth grade. There is no one issue that motivates me. However, I believe the next few years will prove to be very important for our schools.
The restructuring of school funding in Illinois and the implementation of ESSA at the state and local level could impact the delivery of instruction in our district. I want to continue to maintain the excellence of instruction and services that our public schools provide for each of our students.
What do you think about the process for measuring student success in your district? Is it adequate? What changes, if any, do you propose?
"Ensuring Student Success" is the mission of our school district. We need to measure student success to be able to determine that our students are being successful. Every student learns differently and we need to differentiate to meet their needs. Our teachers evaluate progress with many different and appropriate measures. Depending on the standard being covered it may be a teacher created instrument or a team created assessment. Whatever is used it is tied to the district and state standards and being executed by licensed and highly qualified teachers.
We also will use standardized tests throughout student attendance in our district. We use NWEA
Measures of Academic Progress to monitor each student and their growth three times a year. These are computer generated questions that help to find where the students are at time of the assessment. This helps our teachers to decide on how to proceed with instruction.
Illinois also mandates PARCC testing to be given at this time. We also use other mandated tests for certain special programs to see if students are making progress. I am concerned that we limit testing so that students receive needed instruction time throughout the school year.
Accountability and assessment are necessary but we need to make sure that they are appropriate for the age and level of our students. There has been times that we are more concerned with our testing schedules than instructional time.
How big a role do you think the board of education should play in setting the curriculum for students and what ideas do you have for changes to the current curriculum?
I think in our district we have gathered a superior group of curriculum experts. I believe the Board needs to review their recommendations and ask pertinent questions as necessary to make sure the curriculum is matching the standards that the state mandates in our schools. I think our district does an exceptional job of giving our students opportunities to learn in all of our schools. I think our job is to oversee and make sure we are providing the tools necessary for our teachers to implement the curriculum our administration recommends best meet the educational standards that exist.
I am very supportive of continued expansion of Chromebook usage into the intermediate grades.
I also believe the construction of the Early Childhood center in district 54 will necessitate a reevaluation of the curriculum in our primary grades especially with the addition of all day kindergarten.
What budget issues will your district have to confront and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, what programs and expenses should be reduced or eliminated? On the income side, do you support any tax or fee increases?
School District 54 has recently received their 20th consecutive meritorious Budget Award from the Association of Business Officials (ASBO) International for our 2016-2017 budget. We have had balanced budgets for over three decades.
Unfortunately, we are at risk more from outside the district and our community than from what we can control. The State of Illinois fiscal problems will most likely adversely affect our school district. Even though our primary source of funding is local property tax, the state budget is causing a restructuring of their portion of school funding. The politics of the process will most likely reduce the state dollars coming to our schools. We are considered well off due to current finances and program we are able to provide for our students. This could cause the shifting of our state dollars to less financially stable districts. There is also other state bills being considered that could negatively affect our budgets down the road.
My hope is we can remember to start looking at items in our budget that don't directly harm our students and their classroom instruction. I would want to look at areas that could be reduced without hampering our main mission of "Ensuring Student Success".
I do not see any immediate need to any fees for our community. I believe the recent county and proposed state new taxes being discussed to relieve their shortfalls are enough for our residents to handle. District 54 has had no debt payments since 2011. I'm hopeful that will continue.
What role can and should school choice play in your district? If Congress or the state approves a voucher system or other means giving students broader choices among public and private schools, how will that affect your district? What is the appropriate response for the board of education of a public school system?
District 54 values choice in our students education. We have had open enrollment schools for many years. Students who live in District 54 can apply to attend one of eight different school that offer everything from dual language in Spanish, Japanese or sign language to a K-8 multi intelligence approach along with multi-age instruction and a Chinese immersion program. These classes are offered in addition to our other neighborhood schools.
I believe in public education for many reasons. In District 54 we work with our parents and community to provide the best education we can while providing different opportunities within our public school structure. Our board historically has shown local control for our schools has given our community great and highly rated schools that they deserve and expect.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I am a lifelong resident of District 54. I was educated in 54 and 211. I chose to work and raise my family as well in the district. It is important to me to continue the excellent education that I received by being a member of the Schaumburg District 54 Board.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
My parents instilled respect for all people especially those in authority.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Spending more time with my own children.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
Social Studies was my favorite subject. I loved history, Political Science and government.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Get it done and do it to the best of your ability!